Women's March London 2017

I have never been to a protest, march or demonstration in my life. I consider myself "woke" and politically active on a lot of issues but I always felt that protests were great in principle but not for me.

One of my resolutions for 2017 was to wholeheartedly step outside of my comfort zone. 

Due to the political turmoils happening in the world right now, I knew there was no better time than now to take part in the Women's March in London and stand up against sexism, racism and dangerous rhetoric.  

Here are a few of the shots from the march :

 

Tahira

I met my friend Tahira when we were in the same photography class at College. 

It was such a great experience and I am so glad that we are still friends and it is has been a pleasure to see her grow into the person she is today. 

I asked her to model for me and thankfully she said yes.

I had an idea in my head of what I wanted to do. I sourced images on Flickr, Instagram and Google, I also sent them to her so she knew what I was looking for and also what sort of clothing and makeup to have prepared. 

Often times my ideas rarely turn out exactly how I imagine, maybe because of time, location, props or even weather. I never rigidly stick to the vision in my head and I always experiment when I'm shooting because it's these unexpected moments that always bring about the best images. 

 

Additional Thoughts On My Maybelline UK Article

Last week I wrote this blog post on Maybelline's newest foundation and it has managed to get a bit of traction online. It reached the Daily Mail and Telegraph and while I disagree with a few things on the articles, I recognise that newspapers have to sensationalise their headlines a bit.

However I am happy the issue has gotten publicity and most  importantly it has sparked up discussion and hopefully we can see some changes. 

Daily Mail 

Daily Mail 

I do want to clarify a few things though. 

I do not hate Maybelline. 

The way I write may come across  acerbic and maybe confrontational but most people who know me, know I am anything but, because the issue is so important to me I speak from passion and also a deep hurt. 

I know that Maybelline have released makeup for darker skin tones like Dream Matte Mousse and Satin foundation but I've noticed lately they have reduced the amount of shades in their new releases, they have not released a dark skin foundation for about 4 years now. 

Maybelline was just picked on because I was particularly angry at the fact they used a Black British model to sell a product that black women could not buy in the U.K

Other brands are actually far far worse than Maybelline in terms of product range and advertising. 

So my issue is not with Maybelline but the high street/ drugstore ignorance of ethnic women. 

Telegraph 

Telegraph 

As a beauty blogger I have taken a huge risk by criticising a major brand but I was just sick and tired of the fact that an issue that bothered me 10 years ago is still a serious problem. 

I hope that my articles actually achieve something but sadly I am not holding my breath. I hope to see change but history has proven otherwise. 

I never accused Maybelline of Racism

Not once in my post or subsequent articles did I say maybelline was being racist. However on a certain article it was made out that I was accusing them of racism which is not true. 

What happens is when you speak out and say "hey, maybe there is an issue here" certain groups of people (daily mail commenters) throw up their arms in anger and want you to shut up, derailing the whole conversation.  So I deliberately chose not to use the words racist because the accused then gets defensive and nothing actually changes. I accused them of ignoring women of colour, that is not the same things. So maybelline is not racist, I don't think they go out of their way to say we won't cater to black women because as we can see from their product releases that's just not true, but they are ignorant, and that is a symptom of society as a whole and we as citizens of the world have to confront the ugly truth of our social structures and continually try to do more. 

Like I said in my articles, I am happy Maybelline actually listened and said they would offer Jourdan's shade. I am a little saddened that Maybelline has completely ignored me and has not responded to any of my tweets and messages. Even a simple canned response would be at least something. 

I just wanted to add that and explain things a little further. 

 




Why Is Maybelline Ignoring Women of Colour?

Last week Maybelline US announced that Tanzanian born model Herieth Paul had been signed as the new face of their brand. A gorgeous dark skinned model with short natural hair, she represents a different type of beauty than the typical cookie-cutter eurocentric features we see, a good sign of progress, what's not to like? 

However, last night I  noticed this ad on my digital copy of Essence magazine featuring another Maybelline ambassador; British model Jourdan Dunn. 

maybelline  dream velvet matte

It's a typical maybelline advert telling you you about the benefits of their products , except I noticed the product looked familiar and that was because I had seen this advert on TV a few days ago :

Now, I am an absolute product junkie; no lie,  I spend so much on beauty products it makes my debit card cry,  I am a cosmetics company's  dream because advertising tends to works on me. 

So after seeing the Jourdan advert online and the commercial as I usually do, I researched it. I  searched for it first on boots.com and I saw the choice of shades; Nude, sun beige, Ivory, Beige, Fawn and Natural Ivory, basically all white people shades. In fact they understand that white people have various types of shades and variety in skin tone they gave the same names twice. 

A little disheartened I went on the official maybelline website to confirm what the actual shades available in the U.K  because sometimes boots also like to ignore women of colour and not carry certain shades. Of course the same 6 shades were available.

Here is a screenshot:

maybelline

And the screenshot from the US site 

This is the same  product, same formulation, same description  but in the United states they have twice as many shades. 

Even though I am annoyed  by this I am not surprised, this is an issue that plagues any woman who is not white. Getting anything to suit your skin tone from global beauty brands is almost impossible.  

I like so many other black women have to buy high end foundations and concealer because billion dollar beauty corporations simply don't cater for us. They always make the same  excuses saying there is no market for the product which is just not true. There is a huge population of black women in the United Kingdom.

Maybelline, L'oreal, Rimmel, Max Factor and any other drugstore brand  do we not have skin? Don't we also need makeup? Not everyone can afford to or have to be subjected to spending over £20 on foundation. 

Maybelline has taken a Black British woman and used her in their adverts to sell products but Jourdan couldn't walk into boots or super drug and buy the same product she is advertising.

 

It is sad because I buy maybelline and other drugstore brands regularly. Their mascaras are amazing but they are still not catering to a huge and hungry market and we are still having this discussion in 2016